WHEELING - Republican Patrick Morrisey, who is seeking the post of attorney general in West Virginia, is pulling no punches in his bid for political office.
During a recent stop in Wheeling, Morrisey, a resident of the Eastern Panhandle, said he is in the process of resigning from his law practice to devote his full attention to the campaign. That means visiting all 55 counties in the state and listening to the concerns of the people.
He will face incumbent Democrat Darrell McGraw Jr., who has held the post since 1992.
"I think it's the right time, and I'm putting myself out there," Morrisey said. "I acknowledge his years of experience, but there is the need for change."
Morrisey, a health care lawyer serving as partner and co-chair of King & Spalding's Food and Drug and Life Science Group, has been in practice since 1992. According to his biography, Morrisey has worked on numerous high-profile health care matters and possesses a broad array of experience on regulatory issues, Medicare, Medicaid, policy, fraud and abuse investigations, legislative, strategic counseling and legal and policy challenges to federal statutes and regulations.
"I am a strong supporter of ethics reform and the way we do competitive bidding for legal services in West Virginia," he said.
He also favors close scrutiny of the attorney general's budget, suggesting more claims money be spent on advocating for jobs rather than what he sees as needless self promotion of the office.
While his law practice is situated in Washington, D.C., Morrisey said he has been active in his community in Harpers Ferry, where he resides with his wife and teenage stepdaughter. He has volunteered for the Potomac Street Project, an ongoing effort to rebuild part of downtown Harpers Ferry, is a member of the Eastern Panhandle Business Association and served on the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee.
Morrisey strongly disagrees with McGraw regarding Obamacare.
"McGraw refused to join the 26-state legal challenge to Obamacare and stood by as the administration saddled West Virginians with new financial burdens, rising health care costs and unconstitutional mandates," Morrisey said. "My position on Obamacare is clear: let's repeal it and start over."
Morrisey assisted the states' successful challenge to the health care law in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and continues to counsel members of Congress on strategies to repeal the law. He has extensive experience analyzing Medicaid policies and federal matching rules.
During his 20-year legal career - in addition to his health care expertise - Morrisey has handled administrative law, election law, public policy and several criminal defense matters. Originally from New Jersey, Morrisey earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science, with honors, (obtaining high honors in history) from Rutgers College in 1989 and a juris doctor from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1992. A product of a working-class family, Morrisey is licensed to practice law in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.